Posted on July 30, 2009
I’m excited one of my pet portraits made the 2010 PBRC Happy Endings Calendar. That’s 3 years in a row. Very cool. Since it’s for charity and a breed that I love, I’m especially excited. I’ll let everyone know when they go on sale.
This is Kai Nu, adopted by the amazing Teka Martin of K9 Toddlers. Poor Kai Nu. Dumped at the shelter because her owners said she was a dumb dog. Poor girl. She was rescued by Karma Rescue on her very last day in the shelter. Kai Nu was very shy around people and it was discovered she was not dumb at all…the sweet girl couldn’t hear! She was deaf. To the rescue, an amazing trainer (Teka), who specializes in deaf dogs. She began training Kai Nu to make her more adoptable. She was so smart and learned sign commands in lightening speed. It only took a few weeks for Teka to fall in love. She called Karma and said, take Kai Nu off the list, because she has found her forever home. Teka says, “She may be deaf, but she can hear with her heart”.
PBRC (Pit Bull Rescue Central) is an online resource for pit rescues and a wealth of information about the breed. PBRC envisions a compassionate world where pit bulls and pit bull mixes reside in responsible, loving homes and where their honor and positive image is restored and preserved.
Gabby won 2nd place in their Pitty The Fool Contest last year. My poor dog! She is such a good sport. Yesterday I had her dressed up as a chicken. Is that considered abuse?
They also have a blog where folks can send in photos of their silly pit antics. Pitter Patter
And of course they always need donations and volunteers, so if anyone is interested, it’s a really great organization.
As an organization, Pit Bull Rescue Central will:
* Help relieve suffering of and prevent cruelty to dogs identified as pit bulls and
mixes thereof, through the public dissemination of educational information.
* Help reduce the number of homeless pit bulls and mixes thereof, through
the public dissemination of educational information.
* Facilitate the rescue and placement of homeless dogs identified primarily
as pit bulls and mixes thereof, into responsible homes.
* Participate in fundraising in order to provide caretakers of pit bulls and
mixes thereof, with the means to:
* seek veterinary treatment
* spay or neuter
* provide food, shelter or other basic necessities
* assist a dog to prevent it from being treated in a cruel or inhumane fashion
Posted on July 29, 2009
I really love photographing weddings. It’s such a wonderful time. A beautiful day. Something you will always remember. I can still remember every detail of my wedding day. (well, almost…as you know, I’m not that great of a remember-er) Darrell and I eloped, but the one thing I made sure I had was a photographer. I wanted to be able to look back on all the fun we had.
Darrell and I started planning a full on wedding, but we had just moved to Los Angeles and all of our family and friends were back East. We couldn’t decide if we should have everyone come here or go back East? But where back East? We had met and lived together in New York City. That’s where all our friends were. My family lived in Maryland and in the South. His in New Jersey and Upstate. (Yes, a Southern girl marrying a Yankee! My uncle still gives me a hard time about that. haha) The planning process was a huge ordeal! There was nothing like Wedding Wire way back then. (I still can’t believe how long I’ve been with my husband. And how much I still like hanging out with him. I guess that means it’s true love.) We ended up eloping. It was a planned elopement, though. We told everyone our plan and they loved the idea. Get married alone and then have a party when we visited NYC. Another when we visited MD. The perfect solution. But I wanted everyone to be able to see our wedding, so I searched for a wedding photographer that I loved.
We decided to get married on Catalina Island. It was gorgeous. The photographer was great. (I just looked for her online, but I guess she no longer does photography. Bummer) Back then it was old school film. I wanted all black and whites and no traditional poses. I loved Terry Gruber’s style and wanted my photographs to have the same feel. I showed Melinda some of his work. She was really excited. I don’t think she met a bride like me before. Completely non traditional. I wanted her to feel free to experiment and get creative. Just like me.
Speeking of non traditional…everything about my wedding was offbeat. Wedding dress shopping included. We got married around Halloween, so the local costume shops had tons of bride and groom stuff. Darrell and I stumbled into a great store called Aardvarks. There was a huge rack of wedding veils. I pulled out the biggest, poofiest one I could find. It was great. 1980’s at it’s most…interesting. Next I spotted a big basket of corsets. I picked a few to try on. The last thing I spied was a rack of petticoats. I chose a simple one. Not too big, but still a little puffy. While I was rummaging around, Darrell was looking at tuxedos. Just as I rounded the corner, he came out of the dressing room in a really cool chocolate brown vintage number. I guess we both found our perfect outfit.
As we were paying for our items, the clerk behind the register said, “Now all you need to do is find the dress.” I replied, “This is going to BE my dress.” Yep, a little bit unconventional. It was very Madonna, 1987. I loved it!
Our minister was a woman (don’t forget I was raised Catholic, so that, too, was odd). We got married on a terrace overlooking the Pacific Ocean. That was just beautiful. We were figuring out where to stand for the ceremony and both the photographer and minister suggested we stand with our backs to the ocean view. Good for the photos. We were thinking the exact opposite. We wanted to see the gorgeous view as we were exchanging vows. And it was absolutely breathtaking.
We also got ready together. No separate rooms. No worry about seeing each other before the ceremony. It was just causal and relaxed…just like us. So we got photos of us goofing around, with curlers in my hair, putting make up on and Darrell eating apples. Of course.
My bouquet was chosen last minute as we were walking down main street. A bunch of daisies. Simple. I wonder what folks thought of as as we walked around Catalina. Me in my corset and petticoat and Darrell in a chocolate brown tux. I remember everyone saying congrats and good luck.
Right before the ceremony began, the minister suggested I bring some tissues so when I started to cry I could dab my eyes. I thought, are you nuts? I’m the most unsentimental girl I know. There is no way this wedding is going to get me to cry. But, being a people-pleaser and not wanting to hurt her feelings, I said thank you and took the tissues from her hands. We were ready. I was really excited and we were both anxious to get to the patio and exchange our vows.
The actual ceremony is a bit of a blur. The only thing I really remember vividly is that the minister was right. I did need those tissues. Come to think of it Darrell did too. I guess we were both overwhelmed with joy and love. Corny, I know, but true. We were both blubbering like idiots.
Our wedding dinner was at the Wrigley Mansion. It was delicious. We had a nice midnight stroll back to our hotel. What a cool place. Instead of cars, the locals drive golf carts. There are wild buffalo roaming the hills. We need to take a trip back there. I am so happy we decided to get married on Catalina.
For anyone planning their wedding now, Wedding Wire is a fantastic site that has everything at your finger tips. I’ve been listed on their website for a while now and brides have told me how easy they make wedding planning. Have fun and happy wedding planning.
Posted on July 28, 2009
On of my favorite pregnant moms is the very beautiful Tina. I’ve been lucky enough to photograph her first baby, Valentina (above), both her pregnancies, her baby shower and her sister. It’s a family affair! I can’t wait to photograph her newest addition, little Mia.
Tina’s business, Piccolo Chef was just featured in Los Angeles Magazine as the best kid’s cooking school. How exciting. A big congratulations going out to Tina and her partner Lillian.
Posted on July 27, 2009
Thanks for becoming a Facebook Fan! As a little thank you, I’m holding a contest for a free session. Just fill out the form below and let me know the kind of portrait session you’d be interested in and I’ll pick a winner. (the old fashion way…putting all the names in a hat and picking the winner. )
This contest is open to all Fusaro Photography’s Facebook fans. If you aren’t a fan and want to be included in the contest, click here. Feel free to let your friends and family know about the contest. The drawing will be August 15th.
Posted on July 26, 2009
Michele is a fellow photog friend and an awesome photographer in Austin, Texas. One of her photographs won first place in Miller’s Baby Photo Contest. How cute is that baby girl? And can you believe she posed like that on her own. I’d say she is a Top Model in the making.
Posted on July 26, 2009
Georgie died in my arms. He went peacefully.
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. ~From a headstone in Ireland
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~Kahlil Gibran
Read about this sweet puppy from the beginning. My very first rescue.
Posted on July 25, 2009
Georgie Porgie, Pudding and pie, kissed the girls and made them cry….
What I want to know is how did you get to be so sweet?
Rande said something to me on the day I rescued you…. she said that I now get to see the process from start to finish. I had just started volunteering with Karma Rescue and she called me because there were no more experienced people around to bail you out of the shelter. And so I began the process…. only the end of the process is supposed to be with you finding a forever home. Here. The process is not supposed to end with your life. And that is what it is coming too. I am so sorry, my boy. I’m so sorry we couldn’t save you and let you be a dog and love your life for a long, long time. Darrell says that to you, a day or a hundred days isn’t important…. is that true? Was your time here enough? Did you have enough fun? Did you get enough love? Rande says yes. Darrell says yes. Even Cliff says yes. Right now, I’m finding it hard to believe. I could have given you more. I could have taken you on more walks, more naps on my couch…. more belly rubs. I don’t know if I will always think that way. Rande and Darrell have both scolded me about that…saying I can’t do that to myself. But I can’t help it. I wish I could have given you more.
I remember the first time I saw you…I picked you up from Animal Birth Control and you were so groggy. You slept the entire way to the place we were boarding you. You were so cute and white. The graffiti was almost washed completely away. You didn’t want to get into the car, so I had to lift you…I was afraid I was going to hurt you…
The next day I came to see you and photograph you for the Karma website. You were really happy to get outside. You looked gorgeous in your photos…everyone said so. People called you a white angel. You even got to meet Arline and Jack. They adopted Brandy. I told them your story and it made them sad. They were happy that we rescued you, because they knew you were going to be spoiled rotten. One thing I noticed about your sweet face was that one of your eyes was teary. It looked like you had been crying. I touched it up on your photos, because I didn’t want anyone to think you were a sad puppy. Could that have been the start of your sickness? The first sign?
Then I didn’t see you for a while. And I don’t remember our next outing. That really makes me sad…why don’t I remember? Jazz really needed me then. I hope you understand. I thought you would be fine and get lots of love and attention from everyone else. Rande says you did. I hope it was enough.
And then Jazz was ready to go out on his own. And so I went and got you. You didn’t want to get in the car again. I had to coax you to jump in with treats. The treats didn’t work. I had to pick you up and put you in the car again. This time I wasn’t worried about hurting you. You loved exploring the car. I think you sniffed every inch…including the dashboard and the very back of the backseat…the space behind where human heads go. You jumped up there and squeezed yourself in tight. You looked so cute. I was so happy to see you out and about. You also liked looking backwards. And sticking your head out the window! You got to meet Darrell. He taught you to sit. He said he couldn’t believe how happy you were and how much you smiled. I wish I could see that smile again. You got to meet some of our neighbors and Cliff too. You gave him a huge hug and kiss. He thought you were such a sweet boy. But, you didn’t like Harley. Or any other dogs. But now, I know it’s not that you didn’t like them…I think you were protecting them. I think you somehow knew what was growing inside you. And so we kept you away from other dogs…but not before you got to enjoy a hike at Runyon Canyon…
And you LOVED it. Climbing the big hill. Sniffing and exploring. Just being a dog. We hiked for about an hour and a half. You couldn’t stop smiling. I’m so glad you got to experience that hike. It’s one of my favorite things to share with dogs. And you especially, because I knew it was the first time you had been there ever. I got to experience a lot of firsts with you. After our hike, I wanted to take you to get a bath, but there wasn’t time, so I drove you home. Down Sunset and to PCH and the beach. Some of the time you had your head out the window and some of the time you were passed out! You were so tired from your day out. When we got back to the vet’s office you did not want to go back to your kennel. You dragged your feet and looked back at me with such a sad face. I told you I’d be back. I think I came back the next day…but I can’t remember exactly. I hate that I can’t remember.
It seems that I only spent a few days with you. Only a handful. The next time I remember was Saturday. The day of your first adoption. I was really excited for you because I knew you were going to find a forever home lightening fast. Only you never got to go. Rande called, crying. I was at work, so I just heard her message. You were too sick to go to adoptions. She was really upset. At the time, I thought she was really taking it hard. I thought, well, he’ll just go next week. She told me to pick you up anyway and take you to Bernstein’s.
I got to boarding place and wasn’t prepared for what I saw. Georgie Porgie pudding and pie, kissed the girls and made them cry. I saw you and you would have thought you landed a big fat kiss on me…. you had such trouble walking. Brian said he found you like that that morning. That you almost fell out of your kennel. He didn’t know what had happened to you because you were fine the night before. Brian and I helped you into my car. You fell into the foot area. My heart exploded. I put you back onto the seat and started to drive. You fell down again. I couldn’t take it. So I parked and I put you into the front seat so I could hold you up and make sure you didn’t fall and hurt yourself. You seemed really scared. Like you were wondering why your legs didn’t work right.
At Bernstein’s you got an exam. Dr B was so nice. I was a mess and he offered me Kleenex. He let me come into the back area with you. You could walk a few steps, but then you would fall. I didn’t think there was anything left of my heart. I was wrong. It exploded again…
Dr. B couldn’t keep you there because he was going to be away and was afraid you were going to have a seizure and no one would be there to help you. That was the first time I heard the word distemper. I asked him what that meant. He outlined the best and worse case scenarios. I refused to believe it. I had seen you 3 days earlier and you were fine! There was no way you had it. You were in isolation at Pasternak’s. You couldn’t have it. You couldn’t. I called Rande.
She was trying to find a place for you to stay. We didn’t know what to do. Finally we found the critical care hospital. I drove you there and checked you in. The doctor and nurses there were wonderful. I can’t remember any of their names at the moment. But the doctor that first checked you out was so sweet and loving. You weren’t afraid at all. She examined you and then said the d word. It looks like distemper. But she wanted to do some tests to be sure. So I kissed your white head, whispered in your ear and left you for the night. The last bit of my heart exploded as I walked out the door.
And so began my weekend. Each time I visited you, I was encouraged. You wagged your tail and lifted your head when I came into the room. Claudia, your very amazing and special nurse would update me. She really loves you! Everyone there does. She really tried to help you. She hand fed you when you wouldn’t eat from the bowl. Got a syringe for water when you couldn’t find your water bowl. She answered all my questions and sat with me while I cried. She told me I could take off your cone and didn’t make me wear the rubber gloves. I think I would have crumbled completely if she wasn’t there to reassure me. I knew she was watching out for you when I wasn’t there. And so was everyone else, but she was special.
Then that night you had your first seizure. Everyone kept saying “…at least he hasn’t had a seizure, that’s good news.” I didn’t know if I was going to be able keep it together after that. I knew then and there that you weren’t going to get better. But I tried to fight that thought. I wanted to believe. I wanted to have faith. I also wanted you to decide what was going to happen. And at that time, you wanted to fight. And I was going to help you. You ate 3 jars of baby sausages and a plateful of roasted chicken. You were so cute the way you munched them. You also drank some water. Then you went to sleep.
It just occurred to me that I thought all my visits and my time with you happened over the coarse of a month…. but really it happened over the course of a week. And each time I visited you and some of the things that were happening were on the same day. How crazy is that?
So you had another seizure at some point. You didn’t seem worse. But your little tail had stopped wagging when you saw me. And on one of my visits, you were knocked out from the Valium. Time didn’t seem real. It still doesn’t. I can’t remember what happened and on what day. D went to visit you twice. The first time you were lying down and slept a lot. The next time you were awake and we fed you. D started to collapse. He was afraid to visit you because he was afraid he would never stop crying…or that his heart would crumble completely. But he loves you and wanted you to know that…he sat with you and cradled your head in his lap. He whispered in your ear and kissed the top of your head. I know it was really hard for him. But that just shows you how special you are. Everyone loves Georgie!
And then I went to see you this morning. Something had changed. You were done fighting. I tried to get you to eat. You wouldn’t. You sweet little tongue wouldn’t stay in your mouth. I tried to put it back in your mouth, like I did the day before, but you wouldn’t let me. I tried to get you to eat again. You wouldn’t. So I took you in my arms and asked you what you wanted me to do. You looked at me so intensely. Your eyes locked onto mine. It was almost too much for me to bear. I tried to feed you again. This time you tried to eat, but your tongue wouldn’t work at all. You stopped and looked into my eyes again. Held my gaze. That’s when I knew you wanted peace. You didn’t want to wait for test results, you didn’t want to fight, you didn’t want to wait and see. You wanted peace. And that, my sweet Georgie boy is what I’m going to give you. I want to let you go right now. But there are so many people that want to say goodbye. They want to whisper into your ear and tell you they love you one last time. They want to tell you to say hello to everyone at the Rainbow Bridge. I hope you are ok with waiting.
As I was getting ready to leave you this morning…you tried to get up. You tried so hard to stand. You struggled, but the entire time, you were looking at me. Your eyes locked with mine. I told you then and there that I would be back and I would help you go. And then you were fine. It’s like you knew that it was almost over and you could relax. You knew I understood what you were asking me. And so I left. I had to go to work. It was so hard for me to leave you there. To wait some more. I had to call D. I had to write this letter to you. I had to get it all down on paper, so I wouldn’t forget any detail. And now that I have finished it, I’m going to go and sit with you. And love you. And help you feel safe and let you know that everything is going to be OK. Because it is. You are going to be fine. And so am I. Forever changed, but fine. I’m sad I may never find out how you got to be so sweet. I’m sad I’ll never get to read updates on your new home and wonderful life…But, I think that, for the rest of my life, whenever I cry, I will always think of you…. and I will know that you decided to pay me a visit and give me an angel kiss. Georgie Porgie pudding and pie, kissed the girls and made them cry…I love you.
Posted on July 24, 2009
I am so sad….
Test results back today….had his first seizure last night…can’t walk at all now….I can’t even tell you how horrible my weekend has been….please pray for him…I want to do what’s right for him…even if it hurts my soul….I’m just grateful he got to sleep on my couch for a day and hike in Runyon Canyon….
Posted on July 23, 2009
GEORGIE IS SICK…
My sweet Georgie boy was all set to go to adoptions today….but when the tech at the vet’s went to walk him this morning…he couldn’t walk. His back legs were so weak, he couldn’t hold himself up. He kept falling over. I am so heartsick. I haven’t stopped crying all day.
Instead of going to adoptions, Georgie went to the emergency room for tests. He could have distemper. He could have a spinal virus, meningitis or something else. All we can do now is wait for the test results. I called a little while ago and he got through the tests ok….one of them he needed to go under for…it was a spinal tap or something like that. He is in recovery and nothing scary happened…(which they said could happen) He is resting. I’m going to visit him tomorrow.
I can’t believe how suddenly he got sick! I was with him 3 days ago! He was FINE! Smiling and happy and running around like a crazy boy. I am so sad and upset. He is in good spirits, so that is good. He still wags his tail and will give kisses. He could really use your prayers and good thoughts. Karma Rescue is going to do everything it can to get him better. They are so good! No matter what the cost they said. I got a good feeling about the vet’s office too. They are a 24hr critical care hospital with really great doctors.
Poor Georgie, please pray for him…
Posted on July 22, 2009
To start from the beginning of Georgie’s story click here.
My alarm sounds off…. waking me from a deep sleep…. First thought, “Who the hell set my alarm so early!” In another minute I remember…. my stomach does a flip-flop.
With my mapquest directions in hand, I’m off. The sun is shining brightly. It’s a cool morning. I get a little nervous when my exit comes up…. Crenshaw Blvd. I turn down the ramp. The street doesn’t look scary. My hands start to sweat. “What if I get shot while I’m down here? Did I tell Darrell exactly where the shelter was? “ I pull out my cell phone, positive that if I don’t call someone and tell them where I’m headed, I’ll wind up a Jane Doe at the LA county morgue. I think I watch too much Law and Order…. I dial Jill.
“Hey! You’ll never guess where I am…. I’m in South Central going to rescue a dog. He was found roaming the streets with graffiti spray painted all over him. Just wanted to let you know…. in case…you know, in case I get shot while I’m down here.” She laughs. We chat a minute and then I hang up…
I continue driving. All of a sudden panic strikes. I read the next street sign. “Shit! I’m lost!” Silently I curse my inherited sense of direction. My hands really start to sweat now…I’m LOST in South Central LA…. Gangland! Me in my shiny new PT Cruiser. Blonde hair, trunk full of dog treats and bones…. I keep my self together, long enough to read the directions again…
Ten minutes later, I pull up to the shelter. It’s not open yet and I ask the woman in front where I can park. She gives me a look…”Anywhere you want….” I imagine she mutters “idiot” under her breath. I pull up the long driveway to the top of the building. Should I wait in the car? Go to the front? Rande said I need to be there first. (Bad. Men) I jump out of my car and walk as fast as I can to the front door.
I don’t want to look like I’m being inpatient, so I read every lost dog notice on the bulletin board. I see a man across the street…he looks like he trying to break into the car. I look away. If he sees me he might shoot me. Then I’ll end up a Jane Doe at the LA County morge. Wait…didn’t I just…Finally, it’s eight and the door opens.
I don’t’ know what I was expecting…a huge crowd there to adopt abandoned dogs and cats. Turns out I was the only one there. The only one. I felt sad about that. I can hear the dogs…in the distance…barking non stop. ‘I’m the only one here…the only one.’ I get a lump in my throat.
A very nice man asks if he can help. I blurt out, “I’m here to bail out a dog, impound number (I consult my paper) A243938, white, pit bull, 1 year old, not neutered. This is the first time I’ve done this, I’m with Karma Rescue, He’s going to Animal Birth Control…Do I have to see where they keep the dogs?….” I don’t think I took a breath! He smiles, stands up and points at the door. “The dogs are this way….
“I DON’T want to go in there!”
He laughs, “I was just kidding. I would never make you go in there. Some sad sights there. Sad.“ For a moment he looks like he might cry and then his face breaks into a smile. His smile is huge and I feel a little silly for practically screaming in his face. He pulls up the dog on his computer and tells me to take a seat. Then he winks at me. ‘He’s a beauty!’ I smile.
I sit in the deserted lobby for what seems like forever. Finally the man comes back, and hands me a stack of paperwork. He is so nice. Really friendly. He introduces himself as Don. I suddenly feel like everything is going to be ok. Don hands me 2 photographs.
“I see you like the light pits. Here are 3 you might want to tell Rande about. These two are sisters. Beautiful, sweet and well trained. 2 yr olds. And this one got adopted then returned. Sad. He’s a puppy. People just don’t understand the work involved with a baby. Now he has a black mark against him…. A returned dog doesn’t adopt out very easily. “
My heart aches looking at the photos. I know we can’t take anymore. We hardly have the room for the ones we have saved. I take the papers and tell him I will give them to Rande.
As I sit and fill out the paperwork, the building starts to fill up. Not with adopters, but with employees. Everyone is so friendly. Everyone says hello to me or smiles. A man stops to ask if I found my dog. I tell him I’m rescuing the spray painted dog. To my amazement he asks which one. I can’t believe there is more than one. He tells me he has been looking for his dog since New Year’s Eve. She got scared and ran away. In his neighborhood they shoot guns in the air to bring in the New Year. His eyes are really sad. “She’s been with me for ten years,” he continues. “I don’t’ think she’ll be coming home. “ He sounded certain. I wanted to cry.
Finally everything is done and I’m the proud mama of a white, year old, unneutered pit bull terrier. With nothing left to do, I gather up my stuff, feeling really good. I went to a scary place and realized it wasn’t so scary. I saved a life. My stomach does a flip-flop. This time there is no fear, only excitement. I can’t wait to meet this little boy. Georgie. The first dog I rescued….
As I walk past Don’s desk, I smile. ‘Thank you so much Don! You really made it not so terrible.’
Don smiled his huge smile, ‘No problem, pretty lady. Come back anytime.’
Who knows, maybe I will.